including a legislative update, upcoming events, and more!

CCCBI to Honor Bobby Kagel with J. Larry Boling Award


This announcement was previously published with an error in Bobby Kagel's name. Please accept our apology for this oversight and enjoy this updated version!

Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry (CCCBI) is thrilled to present Bobby Kagel, County Administrator for Chester County, with the J. Larry Boling Award for Excellence in Local Government at the 2024 State of the County, presented by Aqua America and Lamb McErlane.


This award was established by the Chamber in cooperation with former State Senator Earl M. Baker to honor the legacy of Larry Boling, a person who typified the meaning of a dedicated public servant who excelled in his accomplishments on behalf of the public. It honors a professional in the local government public sector of Chester County who has established excellence in their jurisdiction in the administration of government through economy, efficiency, introduction of sound business practices, and projects or initiatives that demonstrate innovation. Recipients have been honored since 1995 and include various township officials, county administrators, and educators.


In his role, Bobby oversees programmatic, financial, and administrative functions of various departments within County Commissioners' jurisdiction. He provides recommendations for the Commissioners' decision-making processes and directs internal and external communication strategies for the County. Additionally, he fulfills the Chief Clerk role for both the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Elections. Bobby also manages the Chester County Employees’ Retirement Fund.


Bobby also supervised the Public Health Department and Department of Emergency Services during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has secured approval of five budgets without tax increases, maintained -Triple-A bond rating from three major credit rating agencies, and facilitated adoption of the new Comprehensive Plan and County strategic plan.


He is involved with the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry Government Affairs Committee, a member of Chester County Economic Development Council Board, and a member of County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania’s Agriculture, Education, and Emergency Management & Veterans Affairs Committees. Bobby has also served as an adjunct instructor in Emergency Management and continues to volunteer with his local firehouse.


“With his 22 years of public service, Bobby Kagel has contributed substantially to the quality of life we enjoy in Chester County. Bobby spent the last five years as County Administrator, which involves every element of County Government. His five County budgets with no tax increase benefitted every household in our community. Prior to the Commissioner’s Office, Bobby distinguished himself in the Department of Emergency Services, for which he was the Director for four years. Bobby has touched every household and every business in Chester County, for which we are grateful,” said Jim McErlane, chair of the Chamber’s Boling Committee for 2024.


CCCBI’s Annual State of the County will be held on Friday, March 22nd from 8:00AM- 10:00AM at Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester. Chester County Commissioners Josh Maxwell, Marian Moskowitz, and Eric Roe will answer questions on various policy and community topics related to Chester County. Guests will also enjoy networking opportunities and a seated breakfast.


The Chamber would like to thank Aqua America and Lamb McErlane for their generous presenting sponsorships of this event. Other sponsors, at the time of print, include: Bentley Systems, Brumbaugh Wealth Management, Comcast, DFT, Inc., Fulton Bank, Hankin Group, Independence Blue Cross, M&T Bank, Pennsylvania American Water, S&T Bank, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP, Stephano Slack LLC, Valley Creek Productions and West Chester University.


If you’re interested in purchasing a sponsorship, table, or tickets, please email Julie at or call 610-725-9100.


Tickets include a full breakfast. 

$50 for CCCBI Members

$65 for Non-Members


Meet the Interns


Meet Christian DiStefano!


Christian is a senior at Immaculata University with a double major in Business Management & Marketing and a double minor in Date Analytics & Entrepreneurship. 


After graduating in May, Christian plans on pursuing a career in pharmaceutical sales. Just a few of his hobbies include going to the gym, cooking, time with friends and family, and football. 


"Being at CCCBI has taught me so much about communication and feedback in the workplace and I look forward to applying it to my academic and professional career."


Please help us recognize Christian's hard work with the Chamber!


CCCBI Holds Second Regional Competition in Partnership with the National Civics Bee


On Tuesday, CCCBI held its second Regional Competition in Partnership with the National Civics Bee®. 


The National Civics Bee® is an annual competition that encourages young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. Participating 6th, 7th and 8th grade students test their civics knowledge for a chance to win recognition and cash prizes.


In Chester County, twenty students from seven different schools joined CCCBI at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge with guest judges, Commissioners Josh Maxwell, Marian Moskowitz and Eric Roe. 


Our three finalists, who won cash prizes of $1000, $500 and $250, will advance to the Pennsylvania State Competition on Thursday, June 14, 2024 in Harrisburg. 


This event would not have been possible without the support of the Chester County Intermediate Unit, our Technology Sponsor: Benchmark Federal Credit Union, who provided Samsung Galaxy Tablets and stands to all twenty students, and our Lunch Sponsor: The Connelly Foundation


CCCBI Hosts a Full House at BAH with Liberty Union Bar & Grill


On Thursday, CCCBI hosted our February Business After Hours at Liberty Union Bar & Grill. Nearly fifty Members and perspective members gathered for a fantastic night of networking. 


Laura Ellis, CCCBI's Director of Membership, was thrilled to have such a dynamic group of professionals in one room. "I loved seeing the great mix of people at our BAH," said Ellis, "We have a welcoming group that always manages to make sure the newest members are introduced to others. I get to chat with potential members and catch up with our 'regulars,' it hardly feels like work!"


Thank you to all who joined us!


Our next BAH will be held at Greencastle Consulting on Thursday, March 21st. Don't miss out on this March Madness edition of our classic networking event! See our flyer below for additional information. 


Legislative Update


Lack of Attainable Housing in Chester County of Impact to Businesses and Economy


The housing market of Pennsylvania, as well as the Nation, is in crisis.  Unfortunately, Chester County is a prime example in our region of what is leading to this predicament. In 2023 it was recorded that the median house price had raised $127,000 within the past five years. Currently standing at $467,000, the median house pricing is well above the median household income.

This crisis directly impacts our county’s employer, who are finding that employees cannot afford to live in Chester County. Instead, they are moving to neighboring counties where they can afford to live and support their growing families. Thus, employers are forced to operate beneath their workforce potential, impacting the county’s economy. 

Chester County residents continue to age, and the increased senior population will have significant impacts on housing in the County. Municipalities will need to adapt their housing as seniors age by creating additional housing diversity, including smaller, affordably priced, and age restricted housing units. Our long-term housing issues will not be solved without generating more units to meet growing housing needs.

CCCBI is committed to working on solutions to the housing crisis, as well as related workforce issues.


Member Spotlight


Housing Partnership of Chester County


“Every worker in Chester County should be able to live in the community where they work.  That simply is not the case today, but it could be if enough people cared to make it so.”—Ken Hutton, Executive Director at the Housing Partnership of Chester County.

For 35 years, the Housing Partnership of Chester County has provided the tools, resources, and education to help build strong, stable communities in Chester County. From no-interest loans to grants to financial literacy programs, this nonprofit’s experienced staff—including two HUD-certified counselors—are here to guide homebuyers and homeowners on a path to acquiring and maintaining a safe, comfortable home.


Owning a home often feels like a lofty, long-term goal for income-constrained Chester County residents. Limited inventory of affordably priced homes in Chester County; saving for a down payment with the ever-increasing cost-of-living expenses; rising interest rates; and lack of familiarity with the process create barriers that often feel insurmountable. For the lucky few who do own a home, maintaining that home to provide a safe, accessible, and comfortable living environment is a challenge due to high repair and maintenance costs. But you are not alone. The Housing Partnership of Chester County is a trusted partner with the knowledge and resources to make owning and maintaining your home a permanent reality.


One approach to address this affordability dilemma is what the Housing Partnership recently accomplished.  The agency purchased an affordable home in Coatesville for an all-cash offer at $176,000 with no inspection, then rehabbed the property to make it safe and secure at a reasonable price for one of its First Time Home Buyer clients.  This nonprofit is now seeking other such properties in the County where it can replicate this success story.


A vibrant community should allow every Chester County resident access to a safe, comfortable, and affordably priced home. While the Housing Partnership of Chester County has the programs in place to assist income-constrained Chester County individuals and families with navigating the process of owning and maintaining their homes, building a collaborative network of community resources and organizations to help advance the Housing Partnership of Chester County’s mission in a tangible way is a key component to the organization’s success. Together, we can build stronger communities . . . one home at a time as was just done in Coatesville!

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